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1981–82 NBA season

1981–82 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration October 30, 1981 – April 18, 1982
April 20 – May 23, 1982 (Playoffs)
May 27 – June 8, 1982 (Finals)
Number of teams 23
TV partner(s) CBS, USA
Draft
Top draft pick Mark Aguirre
Picked by Dallas Mavericks
Regular season
Top seed Boston Celtics
Season MVP Moses Malone (Houston)
Top scorer San Antonio)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Philadelphia 76ers
  Eastern runners-up Boston Celtics
Western champions Los Angeles Lakers
  Western runners-up San Antonio Spurs
Finals
Champions Los Angeles Lakers
  Runners-up Philadelphia 76ers
Finals MVP Magic Johnson (Los Angeles)

The 1981–82 NBA season was the 36th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences

  • The regular-season ran until mid to late-April for the first time.
  • The 1982 NBA All-Star Game was played at the new Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the East defeating the West 120–118. Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics wins the game's MVP award. This season also marked the New Jersey Nets first season in the new arena.
  • On March 6, 1982, San Antonio beat Milwaukee 171-166 in three overtime periods to set the record for most points by two teams in a game. The record was broken two seasons later.
  • Magic Johnson secures his second NBA Finals MVP award several months before his 23rd birthday.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers begin a string of nine consecutive seasons as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
  • The Denver Nuggets scored at least 100 points in every single game of the season, the only time this has occurred in NBA history.
  • After a few years of success in NCAA basketball, the breakaway rim became standardized equipment in the NBA.
Coaching changes
Offseason
Team 1980-81 coach 1981-82 coach
Atlanta Hawks Mike Fratello Kevin Loughery
Cleveland Cavaliers Don Delaney Bob Kloppenburg
New Jersey Nets Bob MacKinnon Larry Brown
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Chicago Bulls Jerry Sloan Phil Johnson
Phil Johnson Rod Thorn
Cleveland Cavaliers Bob Kloppenburg Chuck Daly
Chuck Daly Bill Musselman
Los Angeles Lakers Paul Westhead Pat Riley
Utah Jazz Tom Nissalke Frank Layden

Final standings

[[File:Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks 1981-10-15 (ticket).jpg|thumb|right|175px|A ticket for an October

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